One thing I've blogged about is the question of gay Democrats, here on my blog and elsewhere; it's hard to track where the gay vote is going - you practically need street by street, or precinct level, numbers to know. But from what I've been able to figure, gay voters have turned out heavily, and seem to be turning out for Clinton.
In New York, The NYT provided precinct level maps for the City; looking at those, it's clear that Clinton took the West Vollage and Chelsea neighborhoods most clearly associated as gay enclaves, and her success stretched up the west side, an area where I, for one, expected Obama to do better. In California, from what I could ascertain from LA Weekly's precinct level maps of LA, Clinton's success in West Hollywood was also heavy. There are, as far as I can tell, no precinct level maps for SF; and while Obama did well around the city, I got the impression that she did well in The Castro.
If you think this is bad... really, in the past there's been even less. We know there's a gay vote, and we know it's heavily Democratic, but almost no one knows how to track it. What we know is largely anecdotal, and generally, it's that while Obama has inspired some gays and lesbians with his rhetoric of hope, many have been put off, both by Donnie McClurkin, and by his general reticence (as shown in the logog debate) to be especially brave on gay issues - on marriage rights, for instance, he's offered moderate lefty support for some sort of "civil union" type arrangement, but little more.
What's more disconcerting is, as the McClurkin episode suggested, a general reticence on Obama's part to really embrace the gay community. We're here, we're queer, we must be mentioned... but Obama's gay outreach has been stiff, formal, and often arm's length; which may reflect, to some degree, his awareness of the discomfort the black community has for out loud and proud gay politics. Whatever it is, it can be disconcerting to see Obama seem so full throated about breaking barriers... and then stiffen up when talking about gays. Still, a number of prominent gay political activists - notably David Mixner, Clinton's original leader for gay outreach, not to mention Andrew Sullivan - have let their displeasure with things like DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell color their ability to support Mrs. Clinton.
I mention all of this as a way of linking to Hillary Clinton's remarkable interview this week with The Philadelphia Gay News, one of the best gay papers in the country; PGN sets a high bar for taking gay issues seriously and respecting its reader's intelligence and appetite for serious information. In the interview, Clinton is frank, specific, and clearly interested in working for issues that gay people care about often in less obvious ways (like protecting LGBT kids, or helping to solve the immigration issues of gay couples). As Melissa says over at Shakes, it's really quite moving to see a Presidential candidate take gay issues so seriously. For more perspective, here is Towleroad's coverage.
And as PGN reports, Barack Obama declined to be interviewed. As did John McCain.